Threat Of Arrest Over Armrest War

November 21, 2009

in Portly Stories

This happened this past summer on my way from IAH to ABQ. I had gotten on the flight early and had settled into my window seat. I was lucky enough to get a bulk head seat, as I like to stretch out my legs.

I was reading my book when a big, I mean BIG woman came up the aisle. I don’t even know how she got through the cabin door. Anyway, I have the arm rest down while I am reading, and she leans over to pick it up. I keep my arm on it, not moving.

The woman then starts to make a scene because I won’t lift the arm rest. The FA then comes back and tells her that we are getting ready to leave, and that she has the choice of sitting down in her seat or getting off the plane. After a failed argument with the FA, she sits down with the arm rest down.

After take off, I stretch my arms, and up comes the arm rest. Results where as follows:

  • I was forced up against the cabin wall
  • I could not lower my arms

After pressing the FA call button several times, the FA arrived and saw what was wrong. She told the woman that she would have to put the arm rest down. The lady once again resisted. At this time, the captain came back and told the lady that she did not have the right to make other passengers uncomfortable, and that she had paid for one seat, not the one and three quarters that she was using.

Yes folks, I was that squished.

Any way, about this time, it starts to hurt. The captain then says that there is a first class seat open. The woman then says that she’ll take it. The Captain says it is for me. After hearing this the woman then starts to shout at the FA and Captain. It is at this time we find out that there is an Air Marshal on the flight, and that he has seen the whole thing. He tells the woman that if she does not sit down and comply with the crew, that we will be forced to land and she will be arrested. Hearing this causes her to sit down, and I got a free upgrade to first class.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

david November 22, 2009 at 11:55 am

i love how when i/your on fligths where there is a problem and that the only seat available is either in first or business class, and the person creating teh problem hears upgrade and ultimately feel that it is them who is being upgraded and that they deserve to be upgraded, self centered and absorbant

i was flying on miles from JFK to singapore (20hr flight) and this woman was being completely unruly and was throwing a temper tantrum because they wouldnt let her bring a oversized bag for hand luggage, so she decided to take it out on me by dumping all her magazines on me, "accidently" spilling orange juice on me, throwing the hot towel they give out on me, and she kept invading my space……the flight attendant recognized what was going on and saw that every seat was filled up so she went up and asked what could be done, next thing i know the head FA came over and greeted me saying we are dreadfully sorry about the rudeness and unpleasantness that has been occuring thusfar, we are sorry to see your discomfort, as you can see the flight is very full and the only seat available is in first class, would you please follow me………..she got up sayign good this is more like it this is what i deserve thank you for getting me away from this i am a woman of style……..the head FA goes ma'am please sit down, we were talking to the gentleman next to you, the fellow who has had to put up with your behavior for too long, we find your actions to be very rude and inapropriate, sir please gather your belongings, as we will be serving meals shortly…

as we arrived in Singapore i see a security official of somesort walking with the woman due to her actions


Jodi November 23, 2009 at 4:41 am

While I feel for larger people who are made fun of, I do not feel for one that thinks they have the right to take up more room than they paid for. If you’re that large, you should buy 2 adjoining seats. I’m glad you were able to be moved. I’ve had to sit next to larger people at concerts and sporting events (luckily not on a plane yet!), and I’m a very tiny woman so they have no issue with taking up my space, which just irks me. Even men with broad shoulders will encroach my seat, and I’m sorry but if I don’t know you I don’t want your body touching mine. Simple as that. LOL


LGS November 23, 2009 at 7:24 am

This story sounds made up to me.


the dominator November 25, 2009 at 1:06 pm

why is it when someone tells a story involving a very overweight person their is always someone who says this is made up? of course not all fatties are boorish jerks but some are. i have met some and made them suffer.

the dominator does not put up with shit.

he just dominates.


anon November 26, 2009 at 11:20 am

Good for you buddy. People are way too passive these days at the risk of seeming politically in-correct or hurting someone's feelings….kudos to you for standing up for yourself!


Alex December 1, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I call bullshit on this story. Like hell the Captain of a plane would leave the cockpit for something like this.


Max December 2, 2009 at 8:52 pm

The dominator is too busy acting tough and speaking in the third person to realize he just sounds like an inconsiderate jerk.


Alan January 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I've had the same thing happen to me from MHT to ORD. This 550 pound gal took up half of my space and I ended up sitting in my wife's lap on that trip. The scary thing was when we realized that she was on our leg to MCI……! Thank God this time she was two rows behind us.

On a similar note, while renting a car in DIA, there was this enormous woman renting a small, compact economy car and could not fit between the seat and the wheel. Of course, they had larger cars, but she insisted that she pay the smaller rate that had been quoted to her….


Fred Rudy May 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I think it should the responsibility FA to outline passenger etiquette some passengers need be reminded how to act and how to share I.E the armrest for Example.


James June 1, 2012 at 10:40 am

Just something to consider when talking about being squeezed in seats: The median shoulder width of an adult male firefighter (assumed to be above average fitness, ie, not significantly overweight) is 20.8 inches. The median female is 18.5 inches.

With economy class seats usually in the 16.5-18 inch range, more than 50% of *fit* adult *shoulders*.

The problem is the airlines, not the people.


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